Artistic Direction

With a career spanning 40 years in the Arts, Dusty Rhodes has an eclectic mix of experience to bring to any project. Taking up Choral and Light Opera singing, as well as set design and construction during his schooling, Dusty turned to Folk, Rock and was a founder member of Mr Spooners Magic Theatre during his Student days ( He studied Chemistry!) and was an Actor/Musician in the pioneering General Will Theatre Company during the ‘70’s.

After a few years living, working and travelling the world from a home base in Athens, Dusty returned to the UK and started putting on multimedia arts events in characterful locations including Industrial buildings. He went on to join Allan Brack in setting up the Bradford Festival Company in 1989 and remained a Director until 1997. This period saw the development of the Bradford Mela with which he has maintained a 22 year relationship as well as creating magical launches, finales, Carnivals, Street Festivals and events in, amongst others, the historic Wool Exchange and Windsor Baths. It also saw the launch of other exciting community initiatives like Festival Radio, which became BCB and Festival TV run by Yorkshire Community Television of which he was a director. 

Returning to concentrate on building up Raise the Roof following the Bradford Festival days Dusty continues to deploy his artistic direction on a commission basis and as a consultant to local authorities not only with Festivals and events but also on Regeneration projects.

Dusty first set up Raise the Roof in 1985 as a means of supporting the Artistic work he was producing. He first built a stage with some friends for a Fundraising Concert in aid of the Bradford City Fire Disaster. Repeating the exercise for a Youth Festival a couple of months later, he was asked ‘Who shall we credit with Stage building in the programme?’ ‘Raise the Roof!’ came the reply from long time friend Carole Moss standing close by….and so it remains!